The Paine of Measurement
To paraphrase a line from David Frost, “That was the Week that Was.” Or maybe it was a month — or two. At this point, so much has happened recently in the world of social media and public relations measurement it’s hard to keep it all straight.
I frequently remind people who refer to me as “The Queen of Measurement” that Measurement is a very small Queendom. But recent changes in our social media and public relations measurement industry have many parallels to the bigger world in which we communicate and measure.
Here are six recent signs of change and vitality in the world of PR measurement:
- VMS suddenly declared bankruptcy. While not entirely unexpected by insiders, the vast majority of customers of VMS were taken by surprise when their video monitoring supplier collapsed. Its fall could be the measurement world’s equivalent of the end of Lehman Brothers, or maybe the revolt in Tunisia. It’s an event unthinkable a few years earlier. And we will look back on it as the moment in time when the media monitoring world changed forever (see “3 Reasons Why VMS Failed, and 3 Lessons for Survival”).
- FIBEP hosted a social media event. For the first time in its 60-year history, FIBEP hosted an all-day workshop on social media. This venerable organization collects content for most of the major international brands in dozens of countries. It brought in speakers like myself for a discussion of what the changing media landscape means to these mostly family-owned companies. The discussions were insightful and astonishing. Clearly, many of these firms are facing a choice between being in the content collection business or the content management business. They are not alone.
- PRSA hosted its annual international convention ...and brought together many of the thought leaders in the profession. Some of the presentations were illuminating for their brilliance. Others showed just how far the PR profession needs to go in terms of evaluation and measurement. They also demonstrated that the professional association for an industry that is all about managing public relationships can have relationship problems itself (see “PRSA’s Reputation Crumbles”).
- Thanks to social media, Occupy Wall Street moved to the front page of mainstream media. Regardless of the size of the movement itself, OWS has used social media to stake a claim to the American consciousness, further challenging the value of traditional media eyeballs in today’s society. Yes, the goal may have been media exposure, but what they achieved was a change in American consciousness. I witnessed this at eMetrics New York while talking to some folks from att.com. The conversation turned from measurement to OWS — and they decided to head downtown to join the movement.
- Klout changed its algorithm ...causing many people who have been defining their success with their Klout scores to leap out their (virtual) windows. One witty Twitterer even started #occupyklout, which may say more about the OWS movement than anything else. Let’s hope Klout’s move has prompted a number of organizations to reevaluate how they measure success.
- The Social Media Measurement Standards Conclave convened. For the first time in history, the worlds of word-of-mouth marketing, web analytics, and communications came together to cooperate on an initiative that will benefit us all. Our goal was to make progress on industry standards for social media measurement, and we did (see “The Durham Conclave: Our Progress on Setting Social Media Measurement Standards”). In my little world, that’s even better than the EuroCommission getting agreement around the Greek debt talks.
Katie Delahaye Paine is CEO of KDPaine & Partners, a company that delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement. Katie Paine is a dynamic and experienced speaker on public relations and social media measurement. Click here for the schedule of Katie’s upcoming speaking engagements.